Un-targeted email campaigns end up costing more than 3.6 times the cost of a well-segmented and targeted campaign. This 2010 study by The Relevancy Group stated what Endai has known for a long time – highly segmented email campaigns produce significantly better results on a consistent basis than campaigns that lack proper segmentation and targeting.

No two subscribers are created equal

Email list subscribers fall into different categories when their behavior is analyzed. A prospect who is ready to buy doesn’t need the same information as a lead who wants to learn more about your product. You wouldn’t give the qualified and ready prospect more information about your product in a sales call, so why should you send them the same email content?

Segmentation is the process of sorting your email list into groups dictated by previous subscriber behaviors. A person who was repeatedly opened emails and clicked on links needs to be approached differently than someone who has never opened an email. Segmentation allows you to tailor your subject lines and content for each segment, so that your outreach is relevant to each subscriber’s interests.

It’s the difference between standing on a corner and waving to everyone you see and greeting people by name.

Why does Segmentation Matter?  

In a time when an email inbox is a prime piece of real estate and people are increasingly bombarded with emails, it’s never been more important to stand out from the noise and provide subscribers with information that’s helpful and – most importantly – wanted. Without the use of segmentation, emails become another piece of generic content that may or may not be of use to the subscriber. And once content ceases to be useful, it’s no longer an effective sales tool.

More telling, a 2009 Marketing Sherpa study found that segmented email campaigns got 30% more opens and 50% higher click through rates than their counterparts that had undifferentiated messaging.

Getting Started

For a company that hasn’t made the foray into segmentation, getting started can seem like a monumental task. However, there are a few easy tips that can help any organization take the first steps in creating a more effective and higher producing email campaign.

  1. Analyze Past Campaign Data. An easy place to start segmenting is to look at past campaign data to find out which subscribers have historically opened emails and clicked on links. Moving individual subscribers into three defined segments (those who don’t engage; those who open, but don’t click; and those who click on links) can help companies better target their communications.
  1. Utilize Click Behavior. Sending out a test email with very specific links can help companies determine where a subscriber stands in the buying cycle. For instance, a subscriber who clicks a “buy now” link is further along in the process than someone who clicks on a link to learn more about a product.
  1. Offer Opt-Ins to Segmented Lists. A simple way to segment subscribers is to offer them the opportunity to opt-in to already segmented lists. Someone who gets general company information may want to be on an email list for a specific product line. Send out an email with links to opt-in pages for specific lists and let subscribers choose the information that they want to receive.

A properly segmented email list can improve conversions, drive customer retention, and increase bottom line revenues.